On International Women’s Day, we sought words of inspiration from those who overcome obstacles day by day, and persist in their pursuit of ingenuity and innovation. These are the “Mothers of Invention” who are virtually introducing under-resourced classrooms to career professionals, or taking on food waste, or launching a long-distance interactive reading platform, or providing colorful soap to prevent fatal illness, or connecting healthcare providers and patients through telemedicine, all in an effort to invent a better future.
The “Mothers of Invention” is a Toyota-based program, offering grants and marketing reach, while the organization Women in the World showcases the stories of the enterprising female creators and designers. In a panel held in Georgetown at The Wing, a work and community space designed for women, we got our motivation to celebrate women’s achievement.
The eight quotes below are a sample of fresh wisdom, including from Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ), a special guest speaker who Politico just named as “most important new woman in Congress” and the “reason Democrats are wielding a reclaimed wedge of power in the nation’s capital.”
Yes, it’s “so frick’n hard,” to enrich lives and shatter glass ceilings, as one panelist stated. But at the end of the day, “It’s also amazing.” Here’s your encouragement.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the force of seeing women in powerful roles.” – Mikie Sherrill, on seeing more women members of Congress that don’t’ have to “look like a 65-year-old white guy.”
“No one knows my stuff more than I do.” – Shubham Issar, Co-founder of SoaPen and the 2019 DC Mother of Invention honoree who uses her knowledge of the lack of proper sanitation in India to create a colorful soap that kids can draw with to encourage proper hand washing.
“I’m 51-years-old. Why wouldn’t I be confident?” – Melissa Bradley, a venture capitalist at 1863 Ventures, senior fellow at Brookings, and a serial entrepreneur, who was also a Presidential Appointee under Presidents Clinton and Obama. In addition, she worked in the private sector at Sallie Mae, CIT GAP Funds and UBS. Bradley added to her statement, “Be confident, not cocky.”
“One small step forward can make all the difference.” – Kavita Shukla, Founder & CEO, the FRESHGLOW Co. on finally taking her middle school science project to a farmers market in DuPont circle ten years later, and now, with her FreshPaper, is helping to change the way families eat across the globe.
“Recognize [bias] and call it out” – Maxeme Tuchman, Co-founder & CEO, Caribu, who learned to react “like a dude” when facing challenging investment questions.
“Keep going forward and don’t look back” – Ting Shih, Founder & CEO, ClickMedix, who forged ahead with her global mobile healthcare experts to help reduce wait times and increase access for patients in underserved areas.
“I can do that.” – Mikie Sherrill’s reaction on needing to raise $1 million dollars even though she had no prior fundraising experience.
“Surround yourself with people who believe in your idea.” – Shubham Issar, Co-founder, SoaPen and the 2019 ‘DC Mother of Invention honoree.”
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